To today’s generation, General George Patton is little more than a forty year old movie. But to his family and the men he led, Patton was a fierce leader, cunning warrior, and brilliant military tactician. “Old Blood and Guts” made his mark during the latter stages of World War II, something he had dreamed of and worked toward all his life.
Patton – The Pursuit of Destiny is a short biographical sketch of the man responsible for the development of tank warfare for the US Army and executor of one of the most brilliant maneuvers in US military history. Authors Agostino von Hassell and Ed Breslin present a fair overview and assessment of both Patton the person and Patton the soldier. They point out both his strengths (his ambition, his brilliant mind, his thirst for knowledge, his leadership ability, his ability to whip an army into shape in a short amount of time) and his flaws (his temper, his overuse of profanity, his tendency to speak when he should have been silent, and habit of dangerously proving his bravery).
What stands out most in the book is Patton’s obsession with military greatness. Although it was something he finally achieved, it was the driving force of his life. It led him to demand excellence from those who followed him. It led him to periods of depression when he was passed over for a command or an assignment. It also strained his relationships.
Overall, Patton – The Pursuit of Destiny is a good overview of the life of one of America’s most respected military leaders. It showcases what drive and ambition will do to a person–it can be a both a great strength and a glaring weakness.
Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.